For the first time during President Joe Biden’s term, a majority of Americans are pessimistic about the nation’s direction over the next year as the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases fuels uncertainty over the economic recovery—marking a stark change from decades-high optimism earlier this year, according to a new poll released Sunday.
About 55% of the more than 500 American adults polled by Ipsos on Friday and Saturday said they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, nearly 20 points higher than the 36% of pessimistic Americans in late April, when the question was last posed, though still far from a record high 77% in 2013.
According to the findings, the rising pessimism is happening across all age groups, income levels and political associations, with optimism among Democrats and Independents, for example, falling from 89% to 71% and 64% to 38%, respectively.
Reflecting growing concerns over Covid-19, the percentage of Americans approving of Biden’s response to the pandemic fell to a low of 63%, 9 percentage points lower than his marks in late March.
The results varied highly by political affiliation, with only 30% of Republicans saying they approve of Biden’s response to Covid-19, while 93% of Democrats said they did.
In addition to Biden’s waning marks on the pandemic, the president is still garnering low approval ratings for his handling of crime (39%), immigration (37%) and gun violence (37%).